CLASSIC SOUTHERN POUND CAKE WITH STRAWBERRIES
SERVES 12 TO 16
GROWING UP SOUTHERN, pound cake was part of my sweet-tasting experience, as there was always some kind of pound cake sitting on my grandmother’s counter. The traditional story about pound cake is that the ingredients consist of “a pounda” butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. This is my rendition of the classic dessert, and there are really no words to describe the sweet vanilla aroma and rich buttery taste of love infused in every bite.
1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk
2½ teaspoons vanilla extract (or use almond or any other flavored extract)
Fresh whipped cream (recipe follows), for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan (a tube pan is preferred, but if you use a Bundt pan instead, you’ll need to make sure to leave 1 inch of space at the top of the pan, so you may end up with a small amount of leftover batter).
2. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the sugar over the sliced strawberries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve the cake.
3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the remaining 3 cups sugar, ½ cup at a time, and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk, starting and finishing with the flour mixture. Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn the cake out onto the rack to cool completely. Serve each piece with a spoonful of the chilled strawberries and a dollop of fresh whipped cream.
FRESH WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or
3 tablespoons sugar
1. Place a medium metal bowl in the freezer to chill.
2. When ready to prepare the whipped cream, place the cream and vanilla in the chilled bowl. With an electric mixer, whip the cream on medium speed, gradually adding the sugar. The cream will begin to thicken.
3. Whip the cream until it begins to form stiff peaks. Be careful not to overwhip or the cream will separate.
Excerpted from the book GUMBO LOVE by Lucy Buffett. Copyright © 2017 by Lucy Buffett. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.